Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Office

I work with a bunch of guys who are not only smart, but smart asses. Apparently the blizzard like conditions (read: trace amounts of snow) yesterday only impacted two of us. So it MAY have appeared (to the cynic) that I really wanted a three day weekend. It didn't help my case at all that the snow didn't stick in downtown Portland, but instead stayed in my random little neighborhood which always seems to be at just the right elevation.

Always the gents, my co-workers were concerned that I may have forgotten how things work around the office in my few days off.

First, I walked by a label that said "cube" outside my cubicle door. It didn't even occur to me that something may be up as "cubicle art" frequently shows up on our walls--like the time a guy left some unopened boxes of taco shells on his desk for a few weeks after a potluck. The taco shells magically turned into a Christmas garland strung over the entrance to his cube with "Feliz Navidad" appropriately penned in glitter. Or the "Items of Concern" list that hangs outside the ring leader's cube. I believe we're up to #58. Some of the items on the list? Why people say "RBI's" instead of "RBI" (baseball fans, that's for you), why the slogan of Botox is "Express Yourself" (how can you when your face is frozen?) and one that's come up more recently "coughing" as the entire office has been sick.

So you can see why a little label saying "cube" might escape my vision. I threw my coat, bag and scarf on my desk and pulled out my chair which had another label on it "for sitting use only." I started looking around--my plant had "leaf" on one of its leaves, calculator had yep you guessed it "calculator" spelled out across the display. "Deal" on a file I was working on. "Painting" on the god awful painting that hangs on the wall above my desk. I kept finding the labels all day. "Hanger" and "Thing that the hanger hangs from" (yes, all spelled out) on its hook. Obviously tons of work got done yesterday. Jerks.

But my favorite? A label right smack dab in the middle of my desk. A label that said: "Put Pink slip Here."

Who says chivalry is dead?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Day!

So growing up in San Diego (as you might imagine) we had ZERO snow days. We didn't even get rain days, which we really should have in the interest of fairness. I remember one of my teachers sitting in disbelief when it started raining buckets and all of us sheltered little elementary school San Diegans ran to the window oohing and ahhing. While one thinks having no season other than summer might sound appealing, try telling yourself that on Christmas Day when it's 70 degrees and sunny. It's just not natural. My friend's parents one year turned on the AC just so they could have a fire on Christmas Day.

As early as I can remember I started thinking about moving away ... far away ... like Maine ... which is kind of funny because my dad decided at age five that when he, the good little Lima, Ohio boy, grew up he was moving out to San Diego. Sometimes you just know what you want. Of course he'd shake his head at me when I'd whine "Whyyy can't we live somewhere where it snooooows?"

I knew, at the young age of 12, that in addition to snow, I wanted seasons and rain and a sky color other than blue (I was kind of gloomy like that sometimes). So what if one of my main motivations for chilly temps was to be able to wear sweaters like Molly Ringwald did in the Breakfast Club?

I was so deprived, I don't even think I had sweaters growing up ... well, maybe one ... or two. But regardless, when I'd back to school shop with my mom and sister and the department stores would inevitably have sweaters out, I'd pick them up excitedly. "Sweaters? It's too hot for sweaters!" My mom would say. January or February were way too far away to think about sweaters, especially in August and my mom was practical, damn it. "Why do they even have sweaters out if no one buys them?" I'd cry after my mom and sister who were, at this point, firmly planted in the Esprit section of the store.

I experienced my first snow day while living in Seattle. I had cruised through August and was now waiting for the heat wave known as the "Santa Anas" to come breezing through just like they did in Southern California every September. But guess what? I was in a whole different part of the country. And what was this? It started getting a little chilly ... I actually needed a SWEATER! And it was only September! Ding, ding, ding! That's why the stores had sweaters in them growing up! (And no, I'm not exagerating. Now I'm sure their marketing people are much more clever and the San Diego shelves are probably stocked with Hannah Montana or High School Musical shorts and t-shirts for the new batch of deprived school shopping punks growing up down there).

So I was bundled up in my sweater my first fall in Seattle, grudgingly turning on my heat in (gasp!) November after holding out for all of October. Christmas came and went and then one morning I woke up and the streets, trees and sidewalks were covered with snow. SNOW! I lived somewhere where it snowed! The only thing I had heard about Seattle when it snows is that the whole city shut down. I, just having started a new job, decided I wouldn't assume such things (all the while assuming such things) and called my boss ... at home ... at 6:00 a.m. She actually answered and very calmly said, yes, of course we were working even though there was snow on the ground. She even had the decency not to laugh when I asked if I needed chains to drive the mere four miles to the office. See it turns out there was only an INCH of snow on the ground and ALEDGEDLY, that's not difficult to drive in.

I made it ... barely. And drove with my hands positioned at ten and two the entire way in to work all the while being passed right and left by those native Seattleites in their Suburus. Jerks. You can imagine it was quite the story at the office and for the next couple of years I'd hear "but, wait, do I need chains?" any time the weather looked the least bit menacing.

This all came rushing back to me today when I woke up and there was SNOW on the ground! SNOW DAY! I thought excitedly to myself and flipped on the news to reports of school closures and icy roads--music to my ears as I'd do almost anything to get out of work (not that I don't LOVE my job, which boss, if you happen upon this, I totally do). Granted, there probably was only an inch on the ground but Portland gets this magic little thing called ice on the roads whenever it snows. And as long as you're holed up in your house and don't have to be anywhere, it makes for the perfect unexpected day off. A lovely day that I spent reading magazines, making soup and napping, all the while bundled up in a big, cozy sweater. Take that Molly.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Who Am I?

Name: (Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl
Location: Portland, OR
Age: (Early) Thirty-something
Sex: Not recently
Alma Mater: San Diego State University 
Job: Financial Analyst (It's not as boring as it sounds ... well ... maybe sometimes.)


Frequently succumbs to good cocktails, cute heels and long naps.

Couldn't live without friends, my mangy mutt from the pound, artisan bread and expensive cheese and the latte art Stumptown Coffee Roasters makes in my coffee every morning.

Really Wants to Reduce Her Carbon Footprint, but usually wakes up too late to get a seat on the MAX and drives (sorry!) downtown to work.

Loves The Office, Food Network, the old arcade game "Tapper" (or "Root Beer Tapper" as it became known later), baseball, wine, autumn, fireworks, passionate kisses, pajamas, any restaurant with the word "Bistro" in the title, Saturday mornings, dinner parties, my page a day "Office Dare" calendar and dahlias--the firework of all flowers.

Hates Sunday nights, bleached blond hair (so what if I've done it!), dieting and lack of kindness.

And finally, I am a girl who, despite all evidence to the contrary, believes in happily ever after ... and that life is good as it is, but that it might be the tiniest bit better if I were living in Paris.